M. VENKA­IAH NAIDU,

India Today - - SOUTHERN SUNRISE -

Union min­is­ter

“We talk of al­liance dur­ing elec­tions. Now we talk about reliance, not the com­pany, but reliance on peo­ple’s sup­port.”

Chief Min­is­ter O. Pan­neer­sel­vam, was to de­liver his first ma­jor speech after as­sum­ing his post fol­low­ing Jay­alalithaa’s un­timely pass­ing.

As in­dia to­day Group Chair­man and Ed­i­tor-in-Chief Aroon Purie put it, “Good, bad or un­for­tu­nate, there’s never a dull mo­ment when you’re in the south.” The Jan­uary 9 and 10 con­clave cer­tainly lived up to that billing, lead­ing the head­lines in Chen­nai and other south­ern cap­i­tals. Sasikala launched the two-day con­clave by un­veil­ing a special photo ex­hi­bi­tion of ‘Amma’, her late leader and close friend. The leader now N. CHANDRABABU NAIDU, Andhra Pradesh chief min­is­ter

“I’m a re­formist. I have never cre­ated prob­lems for the Cen­tre on pol­icy is­sues.”

called ‘Chin­namma’ was vis­i­bly emo­tional, at one point wip­ing away her tears with a hand­ker­chief.

Pan­neer­sel­vam, for his part, quite point­edly men­tioned that his gov­ern­ment was “fol­low­ing the path set by Amma”. As in­dia to­day Group Ed­i­to­rial Di­rec­tor (Pub­lish­ing) Raj Chen­gappa put it while in­tro­duc­ing Sasikala, Jay­alalithaa cer­tainly re­mains “a woman whose ab­sence is as over­whelm­ing as was her pres­ence”.

There were other po­lit­i­cal talk­ing points be­sides the Sasikala drama: four south­ern chief min­is­ters in at­ten­dance and shar­ing the stage for the first time; the BJP’s M. Venka­iah Naidu an­nounc­ing the party’s am­bi­tious plans for the south; and Sasikala’s other ri­val, M.K. Stalin, making his de­but as the DMK’s new work­ing pres­i­dent as his fa­ther, vet­eran leader M. Karunanidhi, bat­tles ill­ness.

There were heated de­bates, with Tamil Nadu’s great­est ac­tor, Ka­mal Haasan, ig­nit­ing a na­tional storm by speak­ing out in de­fence of the con­tro­ver­sial bull-tam­ing sport, jallikattu. There were cap­tains of in­dus­try ex­plain­ing the south’s suc­cess story and what the rest of In­dia could

KER­ALA CM PI­NARAYI VI­JAYAN LIGHTS THE LAMP AS RAJ CHEN­GAPPA, UNION MIN­IS­TER VENKA­IAH NAIDU, ANDHRA PRADESH CM CHANDRABABU NAIDU, DMK’S M.K. STALIN AND AROON PURIE LOOK ON

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